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Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Two worlds collide in the Lincoln Center Theater production of this “breathtaking and exquisite” (The New York Times) musical, directed by Bartlett Sher. One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.”
Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival, THE KING AND I is “too beautiful to miss” (New York Magazine).
Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna and the Royal Children of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Pittsburgh, PA—Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations LLC announces that Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) and Jose Llana (King of Siam) will lead the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I. Joan Almedilla will play Lady Thiang with Brian Rivera as Kralahome, Manna Nichols as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha, Anthony Chan as Prince Chulalongkorn, Graham Montgomery as Louis Leonowens and Baylen Thomas as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey. The tour launched in Providence, RI October 30–November 6, 2016, and will play multi-week and single week engagements throughout the 2016-17 touring season and beyond. Please find the complete schedule at www.thekinganditour.com.
In Pittsburgh, THE KING AND I will open at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street on Tuesday, April 4 through Sunday, April 9, 2017. This tour is part of the 2016-2017 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, a presentation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Broadway Across America.
Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons are invited to join us for a free pre-show talk, Know The Show Before You Go, held at the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. For more information visit: www.TrustArts.org/KnowTheShow.
Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Tickets ($26-$105) to THE KING AND I at the Benedum Center are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources: www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. For information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, visit TrustArts.org or call 412-456-1390. Tickets for Groups of 10+ are available online at TrustArts.org or call 412-471-6930.
Director Bartlett Sher had this to say about the leads in THE KING AND I: “Jose was so superb on Broadway in The King and I that I begged him to join us on the tour and I feel we are incredibly lucky to have him. He brings such joy and virility and strength to the King. And he is one of Broadway’s great talents.
“Laura Michelle has one of the best voices on Broadway matched with an extraordinary heart. Her work on Finding Neverland and Mary Poppins distinguished both of those shows with her natural grace and joy. She will be an exquisite Anna Leonowens.”
The ensemble includes Heather Botts, LaMae Caparas, Andrew Cheng, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Daniel J. Edwards, Nicole Ferguson, Marie Gutierrez, Mindy Lai, Darren Lee, Q Lim, Stephanie Lo, Michael Lomeka, Nobutaka Mochimaru, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Yuki Ozeki, Marcus Shane, Sam Simahk, Michiko Takemasa, Jeoffrey Watson and Kelli Youngman, with Kayla Amistad, Jaden Amistad, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Rylie Sickles, Rhyees Stump, Noah Toledo and CJ Uy as the Royal Children.
Laura Michelle Kelly, Baylen Thomas and Graham Montgomery in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
THE KING AND I, directed by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, won four 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical. Hailed as “first-rate, sumptuous” (The New York Times) and “too beautiful to miss” (New York Magazine), the production played 538 performances on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. THE KING AND I has music direction by Ted Sperling, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber (Tony Award® winner for THE KING AND I), lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. THE KING AND I features choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” “I Have Dreamed” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
Manna Nichols and Kavin Panmeechao in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Cast and Creative Biographies
LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (Anna Leonowens) is an Olivier Award winning actress for her star-making performance as the title role in the London production of Disney’s Mary Poppins. Kelly just recently completed a year and a half run playing Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland, starring opposite Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer after originating the role at the American Repertory Theater (2015 Elliott Award Nominee). Her other Broadway credits include reprising her role in Mary Poppins and the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. West End credits include: My Fair Lady (Eliza), Speed-the-Plow (Karen), Lord of the Rings: The Musical (Galadriel), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Whistle Down the Wind (Swallow), Peter Pan (Wendy), Les Misérables (Eponine), Mamma Mia! (Sophie). Regional: The King and I (Anna) and South Pacific (Nellie). Film: Sweeney Todd (Lucy/Beggar Woman; dir. Tim Burton) and Goddess (2012 Cannes Film Festival) Album: The Storm Inside (2006). Recipient: Awarded Voice of Musical Theatre. Numerous radio, TV, concert appearances including Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Opera House, Millennium Stadium, Buckingham Palace and performed for President Obama for the 4th of July celebrations. www.lauramichellekelly.net
JOSE LLANA (King of Siam) returns to the role of “The King of Siam” after two starring engagements in the Tony-winning Lincoln Center revival of The King and I. He made his American Songbook debut in the spring of 2015, which led to the release of his second solo CD, Altitude in the spring of 2016. He earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal as Marcos in David Byrne & Fat Boy Slim’s Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (dir. Alex Timbers) and most recently played Duke Orsino for The Public Theater’s Public Works musical adaptation of Twelfth Night (dir. Kwame Kwei-Armah) at The Delacorte. Broadway credits include Chip Tolentino in William Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award, dir. James Lapine), El Gato in Wonderland, Wang Ta in David Henry Hwang’s adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, Angel in RENT (dir. Michael Greif), Jessie-Lee in Streetcorner Symphony and his debut as Lun Tha in the 1996 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I opposite Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. Off-Broadway appearances include Adam in Falling for Eve (York), Gabey in On the Town (dir. George C. Wolfe, Delacorte) and Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns (dir. Tina Landau, Public Theater). Regional appearances include DistanceRunner in Poster Boy (Williamstown Theater Festival), Bill Sikes in Oliver! (Paper Mill), Guillaume in Cameron Mackintosh’s Martin Guerre (Guthrie Theater), Tin Man in Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater, dir. Tina Landau, Jefferson Nomination – Best Supporting Actor) and Candide in Candide (Prince Theater, Barrymore Nomination – Best Actor). TV/Film appearances include HBO’s “Sex and the City” opposite Margaret Cho and Hitch with Will Smith. Appearing on numerous cast albums, Jose is also a best-selling recording artist on the VIVA Philippines label. Training from Manhattan School of Music. Jose is a constant advocate for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and serves on the Musical Theater Council for The Public Theater. www.josellana.com
Bartlett Sher (Director). LCT: Golden Boy (Tony nomination), Blood and Gifts, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (also London production), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Tony nom.), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards; also London and Australia), Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza (Tony noms.). Recent New York: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway), The Bridges of Madison County (Schoenfeld), Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons), Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Cymbeline (Callaway Award, also at Royal Shakespeare Company), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). Artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theater (2000-2009). Previously company director for the Guthrie Theater and associate artistic director at Hartford Stage. Opera: Faust (Baden Baden), Two Boys (ENO, Metropolitan Opera), Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, L’Elisir d’Amore (Metropolitan Opera), Romeo et Juliette (Salzburg, Milan, Chicago), Mourning Becomes Electra (Seattle Opera, New York City Opera). Upcoming productions include Otello (Metropolitan Opera), Adam Guettel’s new musical Millions.
Broadway Across America Broadway Across America is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel. Led by 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 41 markets with over 270,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The Producers. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.
Opening night is tonight (April 4, 2017), hope to see you there.